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Introduction: An International Perspective on Youth Justice

Bala, Nicholas
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) In, Nicholas Bala, et. al., eds. Juvenile Justice Systems: An International Comparison of Problems and Solutions. Pp. 1-17.

In this first chapter, Nicholas Bala and Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich introduce this collection of essays comparing juvenile justice systems in the world’s major, predominantly English-speaking jurisdictions. Bala and Bromwich observe that every legal system recognizes a difference between children and adults. Every system acknowledges that children should not be held accountable for violations of law in the same way adults are. However, there are substantial differences in how different countries define “child,â€? “youth,â€? and “adult.â€? And there are substantial differences in how countries apply the basic principle of differentiation of children and adults before the law. Hence, to frame the comparative analyses in the succeeding chapters, Bala and Bromwich discuss the recognition of childhood and adolescence, the value of comparative analysis, legal rights for adolescents, international standards for juvenile justice, and the political context and public sentiment with respect to juvenile justice.


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